Florida’s grossly mislabeled “Don’t Say Gay” bill took effect Friday, and detractors are already bemoaning its “chilling” results on state classrooms. How much harm can prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for kindergarten through third grade result in?
As Florida Department of Education communications director Alex Lanfranconi succinctly put it, “HB 1557 prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity” for K-3.” It’s really that simple.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is clear in his reasoning. He said the law is to stop young children from learning about sex and “transgender ideology.”
Proponents argue that parents simply have more of a voice in their children’s education. In an era when “Drag Queen Story Hour” is funded in some school systems, that voice is desperately needed.
School officials in Orange County are accused of cautioning educators not to wear rainbow clothing. The district’s legal department confirmed that staffers who deal with kindergarten through third grade were warned about LBGT issues.
Is that supposed to be a bad thing?
One Orange County teacher said that the law limits how the schools can keep students “not just physically safe but mentally safe.” Others believed they could no longer wear rainbow clothing or lanyards as well as Black Lives Matter shirts.
Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar said teachers are already complaining about district training that limits their “free speech” in the classroom.
At best, that complaint is misleading. Educators know perfectly well that inappropriate speech is limited in classrooms, this is nothing new.
Some are being told to remove LGBT Pride flags and safe space stickers. LGBT advocates charge that students are “terrified” and “dehumanized” by the law.
Advocacy group Equality Florida is one of many suing the state for teachers being restricted from teaching inappropriate topics to small children. The group’s press secretary, Brandon Wolf, fears the “blatantly unconstitutional” measure will lead to violence against LGBT people.
It is astonishing that a common sense law protecting small children from grooming and indoctrination is seen by some as a cataclysmic event. Its scope is plain, and the loudest protest comes from those who would spew woke ideology on children despite their parents’ wishes.